Schools Defend Massive Income Tax Hike

Dave TrabertEducation

As Kansans collect smaller paychecks this month because of the massive income tax hike passed by the Legislature, school districts’ lobbying arm is defending it as an ‘investment.’  The Kansas Association of School Boards recently said the tax increase “…has been defended by many as necessary to stabilize the budget and comply with a Supreme Court decision on school funding.” … Read More

Kansas Schools Petulantly Demand $972 Million More

Dave TrabertEducation

Like students attempting to explain away a bad grade, school districts’ taxpayer-funded lawyers bombarded the State Supreme Court with a litany of excuses and rationalizations to justify their demand for another $972 million over the next two years.  Their June 30 brief to the Court says the Legislature’s increase of $195 million in the coming school year should be pushed … Read More

Kansas Ranked 6th for State School Funding

Dave TrabertEducation

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows Kansas had the 6th highest share of school funding provided by state government in 2015.  State school funding comprised 66 percent of total funding in Kansas, while the national average for state school funding was 47 percent.  The national average for local taxpayer support was 45 percent but Kansas local taxpayers only … Read More

The new school funding formula (SB 19) ensures another lawsuit

David DorseyEducation

More than a decade ago the Kansas Supreme Court took the unprecedented step of injecting itself into the legislative process, ordering the Legislature to cough up an additional $853 million per year to fund K-12 education in its landmark Montoy decision. The Legislature caved, allowing the Court to usurp the constitutional authority of the power of the purse from that … Read More

New school finance law will do nothing to improve outcomes of at-risk students

David DorseyEducation

The Legislature blew it. Given a golden opportunity to give serious attention to the issue of low performance and the huge achievement gaps of Kansas at-risk students, the Legislature instead chose to appease the Supreme Court through an increase in funding. The new school finance law – SB 19 – is full of language aimed at improving educational outcomes of … Read More

New School Funding Formula is Bad for Students and Citizens

Dave TrabertEducation

The new school funding formula on its way to the Governor’s desk could have been a lot worse if the education lobby got all it wanted, but it’s still bad legislation for students and citizens.  The funding is much higher than necessary, causing citizens to be excessively taxed, and most important, schools are not held accountable for improving outcomes. The … Read More

Education funding bill overspends, fails to hold schools accountable

David DorseyEducation

The new K-12 education bill passed by the Kansas Legislature and sent to Governor Brownback for signature fails to hold schools accountable for improving student achievement and by failing to correct a math error, overspends by hundreds of millions going forward. Instead the law focuses on satisfying a fickle Supreme Court. The law – SB 19 – is not “reasonably … Read More

U.S. Supreme Court decision could reduce the Blaine amendment effect

David DorseyEducation

The United States Supreme Court heard arguments last month in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Pauley, a Columbia, Missouri case that has the potential to significantly change the application of church/state separation, including the funding of education. In this case, the church wanted to replace its pre-school playground with recycled tire rubber from the state of Missouri. The … Read More

School Debt Sets New Record at $5.56 Billion

Dave TrabertEducation

Kansas school bond debt set another record for the 2015-16 school year at $5.56 billion spread across 183 districts.  Data provided by the Kansas Department of Education shows school districts loaded up on a lot of new debt since 2005: $5.2 billion in new bond debt was issued by 149 districts. Debt Service payments totaled $4.9 billion. Bonded indebtedness increased $2.4 billion … Read More